From the deliciously overwhelming Eleron SUV, DC Design moves fast-forward to the mega-mini segment with its all-new two-seater runabout the DC Tia! It isn’t difficult to understand why such a car given its small footprint but with radical turnout given that the Indian car market’s fortune lies at the base of the pyramid and this is where an added premium positioning is ripe for the times.
This is a car with just about the same-sized footprint of a Smart Car measuring end-to-end at just 2550mm with a svelte girth at 1688mm before topping out at a modest 1406mm. And while it is ultra compact, built on a modest wheelbase of just 1620mm, the challenges of packaging a mid-engined rear wheel drive layout have been met head-on with contemporary CAD-CAE and a team of in-house professionals working with various global experts in key areas of construction. Again planned for low volume series production like the soon-to-be-commercially-released Avanti mid-engined sports car and also the DC Eleron concept, the DC Tia again treads the space frame chassis route with carbon composite bodywork – a sure shot recipe for strength and structural integrity while keeping weight down to a bare minimum.
The reason to do a small city-oriented runabout was brought up thanks to the think tank within DC Design opining the need for a funky, performance oriented small car that people could enjoy without recourse to larger more powerful cars being used on the daily commute. It isn’t just a stylish commuter car but also a zestful drive and given that the day isn’t far off when such a car would make more and more sense while saving precious resources. The need for a small car with enough spunk has been an overwhelming conundrum of many designers and carmakers the world over and while some have managed to do it just about, DC has upped the ante on doing it with some panache.
The DC Tia appears as a open topped creation yet again along sides the Eleron and like its rather very large bigger brother, it also sports the same attributes in key areas. However, in doing a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration, the DC Tia breaks new ground for small cars in the country thanks to the adoption of a proven 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol motor that drives the rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission. This combination of a 120bhp, 190Nm motor in a car that tips the scales at a very modest 950kg (GVW) gives it a very praiseworthy power-to-weight ratio, meaning that performance would be brisk and pleasing. Electronically limited to a 160km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 9.0 seconds marks it out as more than enough from a car of its class.
It is the open “barchetta” style that marks this little baby differently. In the mould of the open roadsters from Italy (barchetta being Italian for little boat) in the 1950s and 1960s but given a more contemporary twist for a small two-seater, the Tia is character personified in its turnout. With a truncated short windscreen giving a hint of a motorcycle flyscreen and again that similar sort of floating top half as in the Eleron, the ‘Targa’ top in this case is more sportily crafted, especially the roll over hoof which has been stylised as part of the coachwork itself. The character streak from front headlamp swings stylistically to the wrap around tail lamps at the rear. Again DC Design is pushing the envelope here with an all-LED equipped machine even in this small car category meaning that you don’t need to only cater to high end premium automobiles to see new tech proliferate. The clever colour combination of yellow top floater panel over a matte black base accentuates the overall compact nature of the design. The Tia might have a 1620mm wheelbase but its wide track (1410mm in froth and 1455 at the rear) optimises the overall footprint.
And pocket rocket is the right term given its performance capability. However all the power and performance is nothing without adequate road manners and to do this the Tia is equipped with a MacPherson strut suspension on the front end with a trailing arm with coil spring-damper units at the rear. The strong footprint and the concentrated mass between the wheels helps to give a surefooted stance to the car. Disc brakes abound all around and the car comes equipped with all the electronic aids for control and enhanced retardation.
DC Design TIA SPECIFICATIONS: 1.2 litre-Turbo Euro-5 complaint engine | 120HP power | 4-speed automatic transmission | 1620mm wheelbase | 1406mm height | all disc brakes | space frame with roll cage | carbon composite two door coupe, targa roof body | All LED with Bi-halogen head lamps | ABS | 950kg weight | 200mm ground clearance | two seater | 160kmph top speed | 0-100kmph in 9 secs
PRICE: Rs. 18 lakhs